Bateman French Opera: Barbe-bleue

Event Information

Niblo's Garden

Manager / Director:
H. L. [impressario] Bateman
Henry C. Jarrett
Henry Palmer

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 February 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

07 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
08 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
09 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
10 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
11 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
12 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Blue Beard; Bluebeard
Composer(s): Offenbach
Text Author: Halévy, Meilhac
Participants:  Jarrett and Palmer Ballet Troupe;  Bateman French Opera Company;  Irma Marié (role: Boulette);  [tenor] Aujac (role: Barbe Bleu)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 07 September 1868.
Announcement: New York Sun, 07 September 1868, 1.

“This is the eighth week of the triumphant march of Barbe-Bleue, the success of which adds one more to the list of victories wrought by Manager Bateman. The house is jammed almost every night; the airs from the score are literally in everybody’s mouth; the singing, and acting of Irma, Aujac, and their assistants are enjoyed and praised by all the world. Of course Brooklyn begins to hunger and thirst for the sparkling champagne of the great Offenbach, and so Mr. Bateman has given notice that on Saturday afternoon of this week the whole troupe will be transferred to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where the opera will be given in all its perfection. Brooklyn rejoices, and all her fair women are energetically praying for a nice, cool, clear day, for the advent of Irma, the witch.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 07 September 1868, 7.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 07 September 1868, 6.
Review: New York Herald, 09 September 1868.

Barbe Bleue, under the liberal and judicious management of Mr. Bateman, enters upon the seventh week of its successful career at Niblo’s Garden. Despite the change that was made a week ago in the cast, the piece continues to attract full houses, and as the efficiency of the several artists in their new róles has already been stamped by public approval, it is but fair to presume that Barbe Bleue will prove as delightfully enjoyable in the future as it certainly has been attractive and entertaining in the past. Since opera bouffe was first presented to us by Mr. Bateman it has been steadily growing in popularity and it may now be regarded as an established institution in this city. The first Barbe Bleue matinee in Brooklyn will be given on Saturday next at the Academy of Music in that city.”

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 09 September 1868, 6.
Review: New York Post, 10 September 1868, 2.

“‘Barbe Bleue,’ like ‘La Belle Hélène,’ grows on us by repetition. Its conquest was not immediate, like that of ‘La Grande Duchesse,’ which is filled with gay and sparkling melodies that captivated the ear at once, but has been gradual and progressive; more elaborate and consistent in construction, frequent hearings are requisite for its full appreciation. It has been given, too, with a stronger and better force than Mr. Bateman had at the French Theatre. Aujac’s spirited action and superb singing alone, other things being equal, would give to the representation of ‘Barbe Bleue’ the superiority, while the chorus and orchestra are stronger and more effective.”

Review: New York Clipper, 12 September 1868, 182.

“We are told that we are soon to have the legitimate at Niblo’s, and that tragedy will take the place of buffoonery at that house, the latter speculation not proving quite so remunerative as had been anticipated. Well, anything for a change—give the people something they can understand instead of the foreign lingo and airs served up on the European plan in the shape of verdigris buffoonery; or, if we must have opera ‘bouffe,’ give it to us in English. Burlesque is always in order, if presented in proper shape; the uneducated as well as the educated classes relish a good burlesque in English, but French pantomime fails to convey the spirit of burlesque, and while an occasional laugh may be extracted by foreign airs, the bulk of the fun is lost upon those who attend French opera. Kelly and Leon’s Minstrels’ ‘Barber Blu’ in black is far more enjoyable than Bateman’s opera at Niblo’s and even the minstrels’ costumes are far richer than those of the Frenchmen.”

Review: New York Sun, 14 September 1868, 1.

“It is almost unnecessary to say that the gushing Irma, the overflowing Aujac, and the small army of capable assistants will give us any quantity of Blue Beard this week. Nothing could be added within reason to the excellence with which this delightful opera is presented and nothing can be added to the delight with which it is hailed by the immense crowds that nightly throng this singulary beautiful and cool house. But all that is bright must fade, and a change will happen ere long; the great Bateman will migrate to Pike’s splendid opera house, and there he will of course go on from conquering to conquer.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 14 September 1868, 4.
: New York Sun, 18 September 1868, 1.

“The charming opera of ‘Blue Beard’ is, of course, the great attraction here, and since the clerk of the weather has shut off the intolerable heart, the great public is availing itself of the opportunity to enjoy this sparkling piece of fun. Irma is more Irma than ever, and the blue beard of Anjac [sic] wags defiance to the vanishing heated term. By and by the whole company, to the regret of Broadway folks, will flit to other quarters. Meanwhile, let the remaining nights be well improved.”